Paneer recipes – Collection of 60 easy, amazing & delicious Indian paneer recipes with videos & step-by-step photos. Paneer is a basic kind of non-melting cheese used in Indian cuisine. Apart from lentils, it is a most common source of protein and calcium to the vegetarian Indians. It is made by curdling hot full fat milk with an acidic ingredient like lemon juice, citric acid or vinegar. Later the curdled milk solids are drained to a muslin cloth and then pressed with an heavy object to form paneer blocks. This Non-aged cheese is then cut to cubes and used in many paneer recipes.
However it can also be used in the scrambled or unset form. Paneer is widely used in curries, rice dishes, snacks, appetizers, cakes and even in many desserts.
Most people love it in a smooth and silky makhani gravy or in palak gravy. Though these 2 are the most popular dishes made with paneer, there are a lot many, that are lesser known but are super delicious & flavorful.
I make various kinds of paneer dishes every other day as my kids love it in any form. I have compiled all of them here for easy access. So do bookmark this link on paneer recipes for easy reference!
This collection of 60 paneer recipes will help you make restaurant quality foods at home with almost pantry staples. Most of these are restaurant style, healthy, home style, North Indian and South Indian recipes. This post also includes some easy snacks & popular Indian sweets made with chenna aka paneer.
Most people prefer to use store bought paneer. However you can also make it at home following this post on how to make paneer. All the recipes will work with any – store bought or homemade paneer. If using store bought, choose the one without any starch or additives.
If you are a vegan you can substitute Indian cheese with extra firm Tofu in most of these recipes. Some of the recipes also use cream which can be substituted with cashew cream or any vegan cream.
For easy access I have put these 60 recipes under 5 sections.
- Top 10 paneer recipes – Paneer gravy recipes
- Paneer dry recipes – Appetizers
- Paneer snacks and sides
- Homestyle simple paneer recipes
- Paneer sweets
Popular paneer recipe
For gravy or sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 green cardamoms (elaichi)
- 1 cup onions cubed, 3 medium
- 1½ cups tomatoes finely chopped (3 large)
- ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ¾ teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 12 to 14 cashew nuts (or 12 almonds)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon red chilli powder (kashmiri or any low heat kind)(adjust for best color)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala powder (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder (daniya powder) (optional)
whole spices (skip if you don't have)
- 1 small bay leaf (tej patta)
- ½ inch cinnamon piece (dalchini) (optional)
- 2 green cardamom (elaichi) (optional)
- 3 cloves (laung) (optional)
For paneer butter masala
- 1½ tablespoon Butter
- 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste (or ¾ inch ginger, 3 medium garlic cloves, refer notes)
- 200 to 250 grams paneer (2 heaped cups)
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- 3 tablespoon cream (heavy cream, whipping cream or cooking cream)
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves (cilantro finely chopped) (for garnish)
Top 10 paneer recipes
Paneer dishes are very popular in the Indian restaurants for their unique flavour, texture and taste. Under this section you will find recipes that will help you make almost all the popular gravy dishes you find on a restaurant menu. Most times paneer is cooked with vegetables like onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, green peas & leafy greens.
Paneer gravy recipes
Paneer Butter masala is one of the most popular Indian paneer recipe made by cooking paneer in a smooth, silky, creamy & delicious flavorful curry. This recipe has always been a winner for its simplicity and amazing taste. The curry base also known as butter masala needs onion, tomatoes, various spices, cashew nuts and herbs. This is a beginner’s recipe and can be done under 30 mins.
Paneer lababdar is an easy and tasty paneer recipe where the gravy is made with boiled onions, tomatoes, spices and red chilies. This boiling step lends a unique taste to the dish. It is much similar to the butter masala but there is no butter used and this is slightly spicier than the other. Serve this with phulka, jeera rice or plain basmathi.
Kadai paneer gravy is another simple yet very flavourful dish made with freshly ground spices known as kadai masala. The use of kadai masala and bell pepper makes this dish uniquely flavourful and delicious. I have shared 2 recipes in this post – dry and gravy kadai paneer recipes.
Malai kofta curry is a popular North Indian dish where crisp fried paneer koftas are served with a creamy and delicious malai gravy. The koftas are made with paneer, potatoes, spices and herbs. These can be fried, grilled in an oven or shallow fried in a pan.
The malai gravy is delicious, creamy and made much similar to the butter masala. Reserve this recipe for a special weekend meals or parties. You can easily adapt this recipe to make the white malai kofta served in North Indian restaurants. More details in the recipe.
Palak Paneer is another delicious and colourful dish made by adding paneer to spinach gravy. There are so many ways palak paneer recipe is made. The recipe shared here will give you palak paneer that tastes much better than what is served in most restaurants.
If you love to preserve the vibrant color of your spinach, then this recipe is a must try. Palak is not blanched here which helps to retain the nutrients, taste and color of your dish.
Mughlai shahi paneer is a dish adapted from the Mughlai cuisine. The term shahi means royal or rich. So to make the dish rich, creamy and aromatic ingredients like nuts, seeds and spices are used. Most paneer recipes use tomatoes for the gravy base, but this one does not. Instead yogurt or Indian curd is used for a mild tang.
Restaurant style chilli paneer is an immensely popular Indo Chinese appetizer made by tossing crisp paneer in sweet sour and hot chilli sauce. This dish is more popularly known as a street food and is eaten with hakka noodles.
There are 3 variations of this dish – dry, semi-dry and gravy chilli paneer recipes. I have also shared how to make both along with lots of tips to make the dish healthy. You can pan fry, grill or shallow fry paneer.
Restaurant style matar paneer is yet another popular North Indian restaurant style dish. Matar is the hindi word for green peas. This dish is made by adding fresh or frozen peas & paneer to an onion tomato gravy. Again there are many different ways it is made.
I have shared 2 ways to make the mutter paneer recipe. One is my own recipe and the other one is a punjabi recipe.
Paneer tikka masala is a variation of the world famous chicken tikka masala. Here paneer replaces the meat making it a vegetarian tikka masala. Tikka is a marinated and grilled chunk of paneer. In this post, I have shown both the methods of grilling tikka on a pan (stovetop) & in oven.
A thick creamy gravy is made to which grilled paneer is added. You can also follow the dungar method (smoking the dish) explained in the post to get a real grilled tandoori like smoky flavor.
Paneer Makhani is a delicious popular Punjabi paneer recipe. There is no onion used in this recipe so the preparation of this is much much simpler than any other paneer recipe shared here. The makhani gravy is made by cooking together pureed tomatoes & cashews with spices and kasuri methi.
Achari paneer gravy is another North Indian dish where the curry or gravy is spiced with pickling spices. Achar means pickle so typically the spices used to make this dish are the same as used in North Indian pickles. The dish has a unique flavour and is slightly on the hotter side. There is no cream used in this dish instead yogurt is added.
Paneer recipes – Appetizers
These can be served as an appetiser/ starter or side in an Indian, Indian-Chinese meal. You can also use them as a filling in your wraps or kathi rolls.
Paneer tikka is the most ordered vegetarian starter or appetizer in Indian restaurants. This dish is made by marinating Indian cheese in spiced yogurt and then grilled to perfection. Originally tikkas were grilled in tandoor, a clay oven which infuses a smoky aroma to the grilled foods. However you can replicate this dish at home by grilling it on a pan or in an oven.
Paneer manchurian is much similar to the Indo-Chinese chilli paneer. Firstly paneer is batter fried to get a crisp texture. Then they are tossed in a delicious Manchurian sauce. Paneer Manchurian is usually eaten as a side with vegetable noodles or fried rice. I have shared the saucy version in this post. For a healthier version you can also pan fry or grill the cheese and use.
Spicy Schezwan Paneer is another popular Indian-Chinese dish made with paneer and schezwan sauce. This is made much similar to the chilli paneer and paneer manchurian but schezwan sauce is used here. Schezwan sauce is a spicy and flavorful sauce made with schezwan peppers.
To make this recipe, you don’t need any readymade schezwan sauce. I have shared how to make the sauce fresh for this recipe.
Garlic paneer recipe made in simple home style with basic ingredients. It is a healthy recipe and uses no refined flour, not deep fried and uses no readymade sauces. It is made with fresh homemade sauce that I have shared in the post.
It can be served as a side with plain basmati rice, noodles or even as a starter or snack. It can also be wrapped in roti and had as a paneer kathi roll.
Paneer 65 is a delicious, crispy & moderately spiced appetizer made by tossing crisp paneer in tempering spices, curry leaves and curd. It is an adaptation of the popular South Indian chicken 65. With a unique aroma of curry leaves, this dish is extremely delicious.
If you are looking for new paneer dishes then this is a must try. Serve it as a side in any South Indian meal.
Paneer recipes – snacks & sides
These snacks are great to serve as an evening tea time snack along with your masala tea or filter coffee.
Paneer Pakora is snack made with gram flour, spices and Indian cheese. To make these Indian cottage cheese is dipped in spiced gram flour batter and deep fried. These crisp fried pakoras are soft inside and taste amazing with mint chutney or red garlic chutney. This a quick paneer recipe and can be made under 25 mins for your evening snack.
Paneer cheese toast is a must try recipe if you love cheesy snacks. These are addictively delicious and makes for a great party snack. These are made with paneer, mozzarella cheese, Indian spices and herbs. You can make them on a pan (stovetop) or in oven. The same recipe can be used to make sandwiches.
Dahi kabab are a North Indian vegetarian snack made with yogurt, paneer, gram flour and spices. These dahi kababs are very crisp from outside and soft inside with a melt-in-the-mouth texture. These are amazingly delicious and are best served with mint chutney.
Paneer sandwich in 3 ways. My kids’ love paneer in their sandwiches. So I often make them for their breakfast and snack. I have shared 3 easy kids’ friendly paneer recipes in the post. These are great even for toddlers, you may skip the sauce or use green chutney or pesto for toddlers.
Paneer bhurji sandwich in 10 minutes. If you are wondering what can be made under 10 minutes using paneer. Then this paneer recipe is absolutely for you. Made with pantry staples this recipe will amaze you for its simplicity and deliciousness.
Paneer Cutlet is one of the oldest paneer recipes I had shared on the blog as it is a kids’ friendly snack. These are pan fried patties that are cheesy, crisp and are pan fried. This recipe also uses vegetables, spices and some fresh herbs.
These are best eaten hot or warm with a green chutney or plain. These also go well in the kids’ school box. You can also grill them in a oven
Paneer popcorn is fun kids’ friendly paneer recipe where tiny chunks of Indian cheese are battered, breaded and fried to make golden, crisp and delicious popcorn. These are mildly spiced and go well as a party snack. Best served with green chutney, ketchup or yogurt sauce.
Bread Paneer rolls are made with crumbled paneer, peas, spices and herbs. To make these spiced paneer is stuffed in bread and rolled to cigars. These can be shallow fried, pan fried, baked or deep fried until crisp. These are best served hot with some tea or chutney. The recipe is kids’ friendly and can be spiced up for grownups.
More paneer recipes – homestyle recipes
These recipes are not exactly the way they are made in restaurants. So these are my versions of making them but sure they will give you the best. If you are too bored with the same paneer dishes all the time, then do try these for a change.
Paneer Do pyaza is a rich and extremely delicious North Indian dish. If you have every failed to make a good do pyaza then give this a try. It is very simple, tasty and easy to prepare. The uniqueness in this recipe comes from tempering the onions and chilies at the last stage. This goes well with roti, paratha, phulka, jeera rice or plain basmathi.
Paneer kurma / korma is nothing but soft chunks of paneer in delicious korma gravy. This Homestyle paneer recipe is from my mom and I must admit she makes extremely delicious korma. This recipe uses poppy seeds and coconut for the creamy thick texture.
However you can also make it with substitutes I have mentioned in the recipe. This goes well with roti, paratha, phulka, jeera rice or plain basmathi.
Easy Paneer jalfrezi is made by cooking paneer with bell peppers in a spicy jalfrezi base. It is mostly served in restaurants & mostly in UK. This paneer recipe is the way I make it at home. It is almost similar to the meat versions minus the ketchup. This goes well with roti.
Paneer Bhurji – Bhurji means scrambled. Here in this post I have shown how to make your own paneer at home and make spiced bhurji aka paneer scramble. This is a good recipe to try if you prefer homemade paneer or have young kids who still cannot eat the chunks.
The dish is mildly spiced and can also be spiced up for the grownups. Serve this with roti, bread or phulka.
Aloo paneer – Simple recipe made with potatoes, spices and Indian cottage cheese. This is a side dish you can serve in a meal and it also goes well in the lunch box or school box. In this recipe, all the ingredients are stir fried in a pan to bring out the flavours and then spice powders are added.
Vegetable paneer stir fry – This is a must try if you like simple foods. Paneer is added to stir fried mixed vegetables. This can be served as a side in a meal or with just plain rice. It can be packed in office tiffin box or school box with bread, roti or basmati rice.
Tawa paneer masala is one of the popular India street foods made on a large tawa. Tawa is the hindi term to griddle. The ease of this recipe is to make on the tawa after toasting the rotis. The speciality of this dish is it acquires a unique aroma when made on iron tawa / griddle.
Making this paneer recipe is a breeze as there is no blending involved and just made with fine chopped onions and tomatoes? This dish tastes spicy, hot and delicious. Like the restaurant served dishes the gravy is not smooth but chunky but still tastes very good.
Methi paneer is a simple curry made with fenugreek leaves, paneer, onions and tomatoes. This is a simple yet healthy dish you can make with fresh or frozen methi leaves. This goes well with basmati rice, jeera rice or phulkas.
Paneer palak rolls are healthy & delicious roti rolls made with palak paratha & paneer bhurji. If you are trying to sneak in some leafy greens into your family’s diet do try these. These are a weekly affair at my home. These go so well for breakfast, dinner or even in a school box. These are a must try if you have fussy kids at home. They will surely love these colourful palak rolls.
Paneer paratha is originally made by stuffing crumbled and spiced paneer in parathas. This is a simple kids’ friendly recipe I made for my toddler where the paneer is added to the dough instead of stuffing it. These parathas make a great finger food for toddlers too and they go well in a school box as well. These paneer parathas are very quick to make and are best eaten with a chutney.
Easy paneer palak bhurji is a healthy paneer recipe made with palak aka spinach, paneer and basic spices. This is recipe has no onion, no tomato or garlic like the regular version. So this a fussy kids’ friendly version. This curry is great to make when you are in a hurry as there is not much chopping work involved.
You may also substitute palak with fenugreek or any other leafy greens you like. This goes well to make roti rolls, wraps and sandwiches.
Amritsari paneer is my way of making paneer tikka for my kids. This recipe is a simplified version of making tikkas without the addition of curd and veggies. Sometimes I don’t prefer to use yogurt especially if a recipe calls for cooking yogurt. So I make this amritsari paneer for the kids. It goes well as a side in any Indian meal.
You can also serve them as a snack or smear some green chutney and stuff in kathi rolls.
Paneer & eggs are a popular combo in the dhabas. It is made pretty much the same way as a dhaba style egg curry but with an addition of paneer. If you are too bored with the same rotation of paneer dishes then you may try this for a change. Serve this with rotis.
Paneer rice recipes
Paneer Pulao is a Indian pilaf made with spices, basmati rice and mint leaves. This paneer pulao has crisp pan fried paneer topped over it. This is a great way to add protein to your regular pulao. To make this dish, paneer is not cooked with rice but instead pan fried and topped.
If you are bored with over cooked rubbery paneer in your pulao, then give this a try.
Paneer Biryani is a layered rice dish made in a dum style. This is not a one pot biryani. Paneer is marinated and dum cooked on a low heat to bring out the flavours of spices, herbs and basmati rice. So in short this is a paneer recipe where marinated paneer is layered at the bottom and then partially cooked basmati rice is layered next.
The pot is sealed and cooked on a low heat. Try this for a vegetarian version of authentic dum biryani.
2 ways Paneer Fried rice – I have shared 2 paneer recipes in this post. The first one is a kids’ friendly recipe made and the other one is a spicy version. So you can find an Indo-Chinese version and the other Indian version. Both these make for a quick dinner and it also goes well in a school or office box.
Paneer recipes – sweets
Some Bengali sweets are made with curdled milk or paneer. It is known as chenna. Here are some recipes which uses chenna aka paneer.
Kalakand is a traditional sweet dish made with milk and sugar. I have shared the instant version of the traditional kalakand which can be made just under 20 mins. This paneer recipe is very handy and is a great one to try when you do not want to toil in the kitchen for long hours.
The traditional recipe is made by simmering milk for several hours with constant stirring but the instant version is a time saver.
Gajar kalakand is a variation of the instant kalakand I have shared. But this one is with some fresh carrots added to it. This best served chilled and makes a great summer dessert.
Rasmalai is the most popular Bengali dessert made by boiling chenna discs in sugar syrup and then soaked in thickened milk. It is flavoured with saffron and cardamom powder. This recipe will teach you how to make perfect spongy, soft and juicy rasmalai at home.
Rasgulla is another popular Indian dessert made with chenna or paneer. The milk curdles are drained and made to tiny balls. These are boiled in hot cardamom flavoured sugary syrup until puffed and spongy. Learn to make spongy, white and puffed rasgullas with my step by step photo guide.
Sandesh is a quick sweet made with chenna and a sweetener. There are different ways of making Sandesh. I have shown the most basic version of this recipe which is made by mashing drained paneer to a soft texture. Then slightly sauteed with sugar. It can be made in different flavors with different toppings.
Malai ladoo is a easy sweet made with paneer, sugar, cardamom powder and cream or milk. These are easy to make and taste delicious.
Chum chum is another Bengali sweet made much similar to the way rasgulla. But chum chum is stuffed with milk solids and nuts.
Paneer payasam is a creamy and delicious pudding where paneer is added to thickened milk or condensed milk. This is an easy dish and can be served as a chilled dessert.
Chocolate rasmalai is a variation of rasmalai made with cocoa and condensed milk. If you love chocolate and paneer, then you should try this.
Chocolate sandesh is made with paneer (chenna) cocoa and sugar. These have a melt in the mouth texture and taste delicious.